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‘Django Unchained!’ Michigan in chains

One hundred and fifty years since the emancipation proclamation, African Americans still are trying to make the American Dream make sense. Freedom has opened up new opportunity, new responsibility and old pitfalls. It turns out that slavery and racism were not only personal preferences, they were powerful institutions. They determined the law, the language, the land use and the overall social, political and ...

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State of equality and justice in America

At a time when our nation needed its legal community to step forward and join in the struggle for equality, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law was born. I was privileged to be present in the East Room of the White House on the day President Kennedy urged a group of 244 lawyers to use their training and influence to further the goals of the civil rights movement. ...

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Facism by another name: Whole Foods and whole fools

There is a Whole Foods store about three blocks from my home and around the corner from my gym. I am enamored by the displays of produce, the red peppers contrasting the yellow ones, the kale, chard and collard greens glistening from their morning sprinkle. I love the way the fish gleams back at you, char and salmon, swordfish and tilapia. ...

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Federal spending is out of control

There’s considerable confusion surrounding President Obama’s record on spending, debt and deficits. First time around, Barack Obama campaigned for president on a promise “to cut annual federal budget deficits in half” by the end of his first term. As we start his second term, out of control spending and rising federal deficits are significant threats to the country and Obama’s presidential legacy. ...

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Black history month’s powerful question

I have a rule about this month. If it’s February, I know that somebody somewhere has given an interview or written an article declaring America no longer needs Black History Month. And, sure enough, the conservative National Review Online of Feb. 4 has given us the article of one Charles W. Cooke. Its title is succinct — “Against Black History Month: This month is Black History Month. Let’s hope it’s the la ...

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The U.S. military is not really out of Africa

By Mark P. Fancher Hilary Clinton may not have been the only one who got grilled about the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya. Apparently, questions were asked about why there were no U.S. troops in place and ready to respond immediately when the attacks began. It didn’t take long for U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) to do something about that. There is now a special strike force that can ...

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The State of Equality and Justice in America: America stands at a crossroads

America stands at a crossroads. We can take the high road toward equal access to high quality public education, reaffirm our commitment to democratically elected public officials, end the failed war on drugs, recommit to the right of workers to bargain for better conditions, lower our dreadful rate of hyper-incarceration and implement the affordable care act. Or we can travel in the opposite direction and m ...

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Re: Proposed Lease of Belle Isle to the State of Michigan

On Jan. 29, Detroit City Council voted on whether to lease Belle Isle to the state of Michigan in exchange for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources assuming the maintenance costs associated with the island. After much discussion, the ultimate decision of Council was to not act on this matter at this time. I was among the six Councilmembers who voted not to approve the lease at this time. ...

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Fixing education? It’s a matter of common sense

As a former teacher, I would love to see teachers make six-figure incomes, because the ones we currently have deserve it. But Flanagan’s reasoning about attracting more, smarter and more talented teachers is faulty at many levels. Right off the top of my head, here’s a few: 1. Smarter doesn’t mean a better teacher. In fact, high functioning individuals often cannot relate to the students at all. Imagine a D ...

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State Rep. Stallworth responds to governor’s State of the State address

State Representative Thomas Stallworth, D-Detroit, said the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus (MLBC) is ready to work with the Legislature and the governor to ensure the issues of the state’s urban communities, distressed communities and communities of color are addressed. Stallworth, who was recently elected MLBC chairman, said Michigan’s turnaround won’t be complete unless urban communities share in the j ...

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